Thursday, July 20, 2017

Best New Comics Anthologies: A Visual Sampling



----
Best New Comics Anthologies: A Visual Sampling
// Print Magazine

So many outstanding comics anthologies, so little quality eyeball time. But worry not: Print's come to your rescue.

Last year we surveyed "wonder women artists" nominated for San Diego Comic-Con's Eisner Awards, located here. And on Tuesday we provided you with a visual sampling of this year's top nominees, and you'll find that here. And today we'll wrap up with a design-based survey that highlights some of the more graphically striking and skillfully adventuresome artists within the "Best Anthologies" book category. The winner will be announced at tomorrow's presentation ceremony.

Jaakko Pallasvuo

You've already read – or can read here – about one of them in my Best Comics Material of 2016 feature…

Spanish Fever: Stories by the New Spanish Cartoonists, edited by Santiago Garcia (Fantagraphics)

And now, here's the rest of the Will Eisner "Best Anthology" Award nominee list…

Baltic Comics Anthology š! #26: dADa, edited by David Schilter and Sanita Muizniece (kuš!)

Imagine: there are some people in the United States who haven't yet heard of kuš! (Latvian onomatopoeia for "stay silent," pronounced koosh!) comics, even though it's been around a full decade, having published nearly 30 issues to date. This issue includes 21 contributors, from its native Baltic communities as well as Portugal, Spain, France, Russia, Angola, South Korea, and points beyond. And true to its Dada theme – honoring the centenary of the anarchic art movement – it's also the most graphically experimental and challenging of all the anthology nominees.

Zane Zlemeša

Marc Bell

Roman Muradov

Olaf Ladousse

Saehan Park

Brie Moreno

Jaakko Pallasvuo

Mārtiņš Zutis

 

Island Magazine, edited by Brandon Graham and Emma Rios (Image)

Sadly, the Island series lasted less than two years, before it was able to develop its full potential. But within that time it offered an impressive array of international art talents. Although it's the most visually conventional entry in this category, it deserves credit for its hipster Heavy Metal flavor combined with a spirited playfulness. It was also seasoned with smart essays and single-page illustrations. And its only full year of publication earned itself an Eisner nomination, having introduced its audience to several significant cartoon talents.

Marian Churchland

Farel Dalrymple

Farel Dalrymple

Katie Skelly

Lando

F Choo

Sarah Horrocks

Cynthia Alfonso

Kramers Ergot 9, edited by Sammy Harkham (Fantagraphics)

Kramer's Ergot is the granddaddy on this list, setting higher standards since 2000. But maintaining its initially aggressively groundbreaking, often unapologetically crude visual aesthetic standards over the years – particularly after having birthed new generations of indie comics – almost inevitably results in raised expectations with diminishing returns. But beyond that, Kramers continues to remain worthy of our attention as an ongoing, now-respectable showcase for top-caliber creative comics art.

John Pham

Renée French

Tim Hensley

Noel Friebert

Leon Sadler

Al Columbia

Lale Westvind

Marc Bell

Love Is Love, edited by Sarah Gaydos and Jamie S. Rich (IDW/DC)

After all the abstract, avant garde narrative structures of those other Best Anthology nominees, Love is Love 's straightforward, traditionally sequential storytelling can serve as a welcome respite. This collection is themed around the horrifically tragic shootings inside an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub, and all sales proceeds are donated to provide financial relief for the victims, the survivors, and their family members. Although a few of the tales are overwrought or deal in visual cliché, for the most part they're sincere, heartfelt expressions of rage, grief, empathy, and compassion. All material was contributed for free by the artists, writers, and editors. And very many are graphically masterful. Go, read. And then, if motivated, take action, create change.

Elsa Charretier

Dan Schkade

Mike Huddelston

Bill Morrison

Tristan Jones

Alejandra Gutierrez

Liam Sharp

Ed Luce


The post Best New Comics Anthologies: A Visual Sampling appeared first on Print Magazine.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN #19



----
And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN #19
// Todd's Blog

Image © DC Entertainment.

Odd numbered issue, so "present day" storyline. It's hard to imagine Diana being so troubled that a stay in a mental hospital is warranted, but that's where she's just been. Friends have come to take her out, finding her mind now back on course. One of those friends is a giant bull-headed man? That's not madness, that's comics. Meanwhile, Barbara Ann Minerva has been turned to Cheetah once more at the command of Diana's enemies Veronica Cale and her electronic creation Doctor Cyber. Back on Themyscira, Diana's mother and friends wait for an expected battle to begin, unable to contact Diana directly. The issue ends with a shocking strike against Wonder Woman that looks very serious. Well written by Greg Rucka, well drawn by Liam Sharp, as usual. Fine colors by Laura Martin and letters by Jodi Wynne, too.

Recommended.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

hideback: John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) Chiron and...



----
hideback: John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) Chiron and...
// The Curve in the Line









hideback:

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925)

Chiron and Achilles, with preparatory studies, circa 1922

Stairway Ceiling, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (bottom right)


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

Byzantine World of Information & New Distributed Computing Models



----
Byzantine World of Information & New Distributed Computing Models
// Industry Tap

To put the data challenges into simple terms, large scientific research projects often require centuries of computing time in order to be solved. To solve these projects and ever increasingly large projects in coming decades, new types of computing and novel use of existing resources is critical. Distributed Computing: The Sum is Greater than the […]

The post Byzantine World of Information & New Distributed Computing Models appeared first on Industry Tap.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

Why Ideas Are Not Enough (Or: How to Sell Out Like Iron Maiden)



----
Why Ideas Are Not Enough (Or: How to Sell Out Like Iron Maiden)
// The Art of Non

273653754_e3b9ffc988_o

Link: Perennial Seller

"What if I'm not good at making ideas happen? I just like to have ideas!"

Ever since I started Side Hustle School on January 1, I've heard this question a surprising number of times. And believe me, I know it would be nice if you could just have ideas and then someone else goes out and "handles" them.

That's not how it works for most of us, though—even people who are successful writers, entrepreneurs, or artists of all kinds. Ideas gain value not through brainstorming but through the getting-it-done phase that all good work needs.

A new book comes out today from stoic-in-chief Ryan Holiday. It's called Perennial Seller, and I was able to read an advance copy a couple months ago. To be honest, I get a bunch of advance copies in the mail, and I'm not always able to read most of them. This time, though, I brought it on a flight and was instantly hooked. I read every page!

Here's what Ryan says about ideas and doing the work:

"If you're trying to make something great, you must do the making. That work cannot be outsourced to someone else. You can't hire your friends to do it for you. There is no firm that can produce a timeless work of art on your behalf for a flat fee. It's not about finding the right partner, the right investor, the right patron—not yet anyway. If this is your project, the hard work will fall on you. There's just no way around it."

He goes on to say that "it's not that dreaming doesn't matter or that ideas aren't important." Dreaming matters! Ideas are important.

Still, without doing the work… there's nothing to show for a dream.

The title Perennial Seller refers to the concept of making something that endures, not just a flash-in-the-pan that launches with a sparkle but then quickly becomes irrelevant. Among many other examples, the book points to Iron Maiden—remember them?

I can't say I follow their work much (I mean, I did in seventh grade but…). However, it seems they're still selling out arena tours all over the world. They're a perennial seller, even without a lot of mainstream attention.

What separates the rare enduring successes from the crowd of bands, books, movies, and anything else that is quickly forgotten? Read this book to find out—you won't regret it.

It's easily my #1 business book of the year so far… and it's hard to imagine that something will easily surpass it.*

Link: Perennial Seller

*Okay, well—they aren't really the same kind of book, but Side Hustle comes out in September and I hear it's worth a look.

###

Image: Sam


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

William Trost Richards small watercolors at PAFA



----
William Trost Richards small watercolors at PAFA
// lines and colors

A Mine of Beauty: William Trost Richards small watercolors at PAFA
American painter William Trost Richards, known for his seascapes and landscapes, was also a fantastic watercolorist. While traveling abroad in the late 19th century, he sent a series of small watercolors of his travels back to a patron, George Whitney, who was sponsoring his travels and looking to review scenes for possible larger commissions in oil.

These "coupons", as Richards called them, were somehow largely kept together after Whitney's death, and in 2012 the collector in possession of them, Dorrance Hamilton, donated them to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The watercolors were put on display in 2012 (my review here), but, like most works on paper, are not ordinarily on view.

There is another rare chance to see them now, as the Academy has an "Encore" showing of them, in the Furness building. If you can go, get there early enough to let your eyes acclimate to the dimmed light in the gallery.

These watercolors are astonishingly beautiful, and only slightly more amazing given their small size &mdash: most are roughly the size of a postcard. Many were painted in England, along the coast and in London.

For those who can't get to the show, or would like a preview, you can view them online on PAFA's website. There isn't an online gallery specifically for them, but you can go to the Search the Collection page and enter "Richards" for the artist's last name and "watercolor" for the keyword. That will turn up a few other of Richard's watercolors, but most will be from this set.

Hopefully, this link will work for you.

Encore Presentation Of A Mine Of Beauty: Landscapes By William Trost Richards will be on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia until July 30, 2017.

For more, see my post from 2012 on A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards.

 

----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau's Horrors



----
The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau's Horrors
// Atlas Obscura - Latest Articles and Places

article-image

When Dr. Sigmund Rascher of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a paramilitary organization of Nazi Germany, started conducting his merciless medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp using prisoners as guinea pigs, he sent for a prisoner, an artist, to document his work. His assistant Walter Neff, a former camp inmate himself, approached Georg Tauber, a Bavarian advertising illustrator. Lured by the prospect of a reduced prison term, Tauber took the offer in 1942. However, unable to stomach the barbarity on display, he showed up at these sessions not more than three times.

One day, he told Neff that he had had enough. As Tauber recalled later in a 1946 letter to the Munich Public Prosecution Office, "Neff said to me, 'Don't be so stupid, he can get you released in a few months and you're free.' 'Walter,' I said, 'even if I have to stay here for another ten years, it's alright. I can't watch that again, I just can't.'"

Today, almost 70 years after Tauber's death from tuberculosis in 1950, his heartrending sketches and paintings of the medical experiments and the horrors of the camp have become the subject of an exhibition at the very site where he was held as an "asocial" prisoner between 1940 and 1945.

article-image

Dachau was the first concentration camp ever built by the Nazis, weeks after Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933. There were about 32,000 documented deaths, and thousands more undocumented, at this location. (Numbers here, and in the rest of this article, have been provided by the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.) It set the template for others that followed.

Apart from the Jews, the Nazi regime also imprisoned those who did not fit its ideal of Volksgemeinschaft (people's community). In the eyes of the Nazis, this included those who repeatedly broke the law as well as members of the LGBTQ community. Another category of persecuted people was the "asocial prisoners." These were mainly the homeless, drug addicts, people with mental illnesses, beggars, sex workers, as well as the Sinti and Roma.

Tauber fell into the latter category, the turbulent arc of his life mirroring the choppy trajectory of the early 20th century. As a 17-year-old, Tauber volunteered for military service in World War I. Two years later, as he lay injured in bed after a street fight in Berlin, he was given morphine as a pain reliever. This was the beginning of his addiction.

Over the following years, his life was interjected with brief stays in psychiatric hospitals, as well as prisons for minor theft charges, fraud, and forgery. In 1929, he joined the Nazi party but left it a year after Hitler got elected. That same year, in 1934, he separated from his wife, the mother of his twins, and began an itinerant lifestyle. Three years later, he was arrested by the Gestapo for a letter he wrote in which he threatened to murder Benito Mussolini. Then, in 1940, because of his morphine addiction, he found himself at Dachau amid 10,000 other asocial prisoners.

article-image

Engaging in any artistic activity was prohibited at Dachau, unless commissioned by the SS. And yet, poetry, music, and painting found their way out of these confines as acts of resistance, self-expression, and documentation. Art also worked as a form of currency in exchange for cigarettes or food.

Tauber initially found an ally in Rudi Felsner, who worked as an employee at an SS porcelain manufacturing company. Starting in 1941, Felsner discreetly provided Tauber with watercolors and other paints in exchange for Tauber's drawings. The barter system was busted by the SS not long after; Felsner got conscripted as a soldier and was sent to the Eastern Front, while Tauber was detained in a bunker in 1944.

article-image

Tauber's paintings vividly capture the brutality and inhumanity of the medical experiments conducted at Dachau. In one image, he depicts a hypothermia experiment, 300-400 of which were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, killing about 90 people total. Subjects were made to endure freezing cold water until they reached life-threatening body temperatures. Meanwhile, doctors stood by and recorded physical changes.

"As they were then pulled out of the tank, with a pulley, dead or having collapsed, it needs to be kept in mind that the water in the tank was 8-10 degrees [Celsius] below zero. But that didn't stop them from ridiculing the subjects," Tauber wrote in the 1946 letter.

In another of his paintings, American soldiers are seen vaccinating and disinfecting former inmates after the camp was liberated.

Tauber recorded not only his own experiences, but those of his fellow prisoners. Through his renderings, a viewer sees what happens when humans plunge to the very depths of inhumanness: men march to their deaths as skeletons, they are stripped and crushed, corpses are stuffed in ovens when there is no wood.

article-image

For decades after his death, Tauber was forgotten. His art had been in the possession of Anton Hofer, another Dachau prisoner. Employees at Dachau, which is now a memorial site and museum, presume Tauber gave Hofer the artwork himself. It was about six years ago that Hofer's granddaughters chanced upon the drawings in his estate and approached staff at the memorial site with their discovery.

"What was striking about Tauber's work was that not only did it throw a light on asocial prisoners, of which very little is known, but also about life at the camp after the liberation led by American troops," says Andrea Riedle, head of the research department at the Dachau memorial site, who curated the exhibition with her colleague Stefanie Pilzweger.

"After the liberation, Tauber and many other prisoners spent more than a month at the camp," says Riedle. "Due to terrible hygiene conditions and overcrowding, infectious diseases like typhus and spotted fever began to spread. The camp was quarantined. Tauber depicted this period in his work."

article-image

At the end of World War II, the asocial prisoners faced stigma. According to Riedle, they were denied the status of victims of the Nazi regime, and thus received no compensation. A few months after leaving the camp, together with fellow prisoner Karl Jochheim, Tauber cofounded "K.Z.-Arbeitsgemeinschaft 'Die Vergessenen,'" an association that campaigned for these "forgotten" concentration camp victims.

While Tauber was inclined to make postcards of his drawings and sell them, other survivors dismissed the idea as unashamedly mercenary. One of them published an article in a newspaper condemning Tauber. Bringing perspective, Riedle says, "Even though he did want to make money, he also wanted to make the drawings public so the people could know about the Nazi crimes."

During his lifetime, Tauber didn't see his work being recognized or appreciated. What he did see was two of his pieces being used as evidence at the Dachau and Nuremberg trials. Today, Tauber's art serves as yet another reminder of the extraordinary cruelty of the Nazi regime.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

João Fazenda’s playful portfolio of New York Times and New Yorker illustrations



----
João Fazenda's playful portfolio of New York Times and New Yorker illustrations
// It's Nice That

Joaofazenda-illustration-itsnicethat-list

Portuguese illustrator João Fazenda's works "aim to explore the endless relationship between drawing and narrative in its many ways," he tells It's Nice That. The creative's practice spreads across "illustration, drawing, animation, comics and occasionally painting," but it is his attention to detail that makes his editorial illustrations stand out in particular.

Read more


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

And Then I Read: CAVE CARSON #9



----
And Then I Read: CAVE CARSON #9
// Todd's Blog

Image © DC Entertainment.

The alternate cover of this issue finally has a logo I like. The art by Michael Cho is great, too…clear and easy to understand. If only the rest of the book were so.

I've about given up on trying to follow the plot of this series, but the opening scene of two aliens on a picnic is out of left field even for this book. Visually interesting, but puzzling, as is much of the issue. So, we have Cave and his daughter with Mad Dog (for some reason) in Cave's old mole car trying to catch the newer mole car in the hands of his old boss's son, and the entire care is physically in the hands of The Whisperer, a Lovecraftian monster who is also, somehow, Cave's old boss too. There are time caves and alternate worlds, lots of psychedelic imagery, and characters who I can't identify or even tell apart at times. If I don't try to follow the story, I can enjoy the images, and that's about it. Some of them are gory here, but in a cartoony way, which lessens the impact. How Mad Dog survives his wounds this time is another mystery. The end brings us back to the alien picnic, so it does tie in, but I'm not sure why.

Visually interesting, but not a book I can really recommend.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone

New Treasures: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero



----
New Treasures: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
// Black Gate

meddling kids-smallEdgar Cantero is the author of The Supernatural Enhancements. His follow-up, Meddling Kids, continues in the horror-comedy vein with perhaps the most brilliant premises I've encountered this year: a group of young detectives, who foiled the plot of a small-time crook years ago, find themselves drawn back together as adults to pick up the threads of their original investigation… threads that lead to a much more insidious threat involving an interdimensional horror. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says, "For anyone who finds the triangle formed by Scooby-Doo, Lovecraft and Buffy the Vampire Slayer a cozy place to be, here's your beach book." It's on sale this month in hardcover.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon's Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster — another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader… which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It's their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.

Meddling Kids was published by Blumhouse on July 11, 2017. It is the first Blyton Summer Detective Club Adventure, which implies there will probably be more. It's 336 pages, priced at $26.95 in hardcover and $13.99 in digital formats. The cover was designed by Michael J. Windsor.


----

Read in my feedly


Sent from my iPhone